what is an enchi ball python?

Enchi Ball Python Morphs, Genetics, and Characteristics Explained

Enchi ball pythons were first ‘discovered’ in 1998. They come from Enchi in Ghana. The first Enchis were shipped to the U.S. by Lars Brandell at this time and were first bred in captivity and sold as pets in 2002.

Enchis are a base morph with a codominant genetic mutation. They’re an orange or deep yellow rather than brown. Their pattern is slightly thinner, but are the same as normal ball pythons in other ways. They have been bred to create many unique designer morphs.

We’ll be covering everything that you need to know about Enchi ball pythons. That includes their genetics and characteristics, information about how to breed them, and different designer morphs.

Enchi Ball Python Genetics

Enchis are found in the wild, albeit rarely. This differentiates them from ‘designer morphs.’ These are created by breeding two morphs together. For example, an Enchi albino ball python is a type of designer morph.

Different ball python genes work differently. According to Molecular Cell Biology, they can be known as recessive, co-dominant, or dominant. These are different ways that their genes can be passed on to their offspring.

Coral Glow Enchi Ball Python

A recessive gene can be masked by a dominant gene. That means if an animal has two genes for eye color, but one is recessive and one is dominant, then the dominant one will win. It will be the dominant one that is ‘expressed,’ i.e. shown. Albinism is an example of a recessive gene.

To pass on a recessive gene, an animal has to get it from both parents. But to pass on a dominant gene, the offspring must receive it from one parent.  

The Enchi gene is codominant, but this doesn’t work like either a recessive or dominant gene. It’s equally strong as other genes. If a snake has a codominant gene with another gene, both will be expressed.

Enchi Ball Python Characteristics

In terms of size and shape, Enchi ball pythons look exactly the same as regular ball pythons. The only significant difference is their color.

Size, Length, and Weight

In almost every snake species, the male and the female reach different lengths. This is referred to as ‘sexual dimorphism.’ Male Enchis will reach 4-5 feet, while females will reach 5-6 feet.

Females will also be heavier than males. They will average between 1400g and 1900g. Males will only reach between 1300g and 1700g.

Coloration

Enchi ball pythons are known for their deep orange shades. When combined with their dark pattern, they look almost like tigers. The deeper their colors, the better the specimen is considered to be.

They have a darker color on top which fades into a lighter one lower down. The dark color up top is a uniform orange. Around halfway down their sides, their scales become yellow. This provides a mottled appearance.

Enchis are well known for their blushing. This is where the center of their dark pattern fades into a different color. In terms of Enchis, their black pattern blushes into a red-orange, darker than the orange of their back.

Blushing is a hallmark of a good Enchi specimen. They also display blushing on their head. The top of their head is black, like their dark pattern. It blushes into the same red-orange color.

They may also have a small amount of white that looks like a border on their dark pattern, especially on their bottom half towards their underside. Their underside will be even lighter still. Like all other ball pythons, their pattern fades to white on their belly.

Patterns And Markings

An Enchi’s pattern has banding and thick stripes of dark patternation, much like regular ball pythons. But these bands will be slightly thinner.

These stripes aren’t uniform, like those of a zebra. They’re blotchy, sitting along the back in small pools, almost. The stripes run down their sides, from their back to their undersides. These stripes look like the ‘pool’ on their back is dripping down their side.

The stripes running down their side have a white outline. This is usually just one scale. It looks as if somebody drew around their pattern with a white pen. The overall effect of their pattern is like camouflage, although their colors don’t make them hard to spot.

Their pattern runs from their head to the end of their tail. At their tail, it thins out and becomes a number of stripes heading towards the tip.

Enchis can be bred with other morphs to pass their pattern on, but in different colors. Their pattern isn’t dramatically different, but breeders will do so nonetheless.

Enchi Ball Python Morphs

Enchis have been bred with other morphs. There are dozens of morphs that have Enchi genetics combined with the genes of other morphs. Rarer designer morphs are more expensive. However, others have been around for longer and are more affordable.

Super Enchi:A colorful version of a regular Enchi with an even more diminished pattern.
Tangerine Enchi:A uniform orange or deep yellow color with a thin, dark pattern like tiger stripes.
Banana Enchi:Bright yellow-orange with a pink pattern.
Albino Enchi:Similar to banana because its dark pattern is light. It has an even lighter pink-peach pattern than the banana.
Clown Enchi:The same color as a regular Enchi, but with a stripe along its back. No striping along its sides.
Pastel Enchi:A variable morph that can have a cleaner, more uniform color/pattern. Pastel may bring out their yellow.
Mojave Enchi:Like regular Enchis, but with the Mojave pattern. This pattern has flames with lots of blush on their sides.
Disco Enchi:The same color as a regular Enchi, but with a thicker, darker pattern.
Champagne Enchi:Dull, faded brown snake, like a regular Enchi.
Lesser Enchi:Similar to regular Enchis, but with brighter colors and more blushing.

Super Enchi

A ball python morph, described as a ‘super’, is one that has two versions of the same gene. As explained, the Enchi gene is codominant. A super Enchi has 2 versions of the same gene, and both are expressed at the same time. This has an interesting effect. It makes their color stand out more. More noticeably, it makes their pattern reduce even further.

It also has a knock-on effect when you’re breeding. If you breed two super Enchis together, there’s no chance of a ‘normal’ offspring. That’s because both parents have two sets of Enchi genes each.

Super Enchi ball python

Tangerine Enchi

Tangerine Enchis have a more uniform orange/deep-yellow color. Their pattern is also thinner, more like tiger stripes.

Because their pattern is thinner, there’s less blushing. You get these snakes from breeding a tangerine with an Enchi.

Banana Enchi

Banana Enchis have bright yellow/orange colors. Rather than being entirely black with orange-red blushing, their dark pattern is pink with an even lighter pink blush.

The blush is well defined. Rather than blending into the pattern around it, the blush stands out. In some cases, it doesn’t blend at all, but appears as a solid dot or pool of color.

The same applies to their heads. Rather than being black with red blush, it’s a blend of light and dark pink. This mix of colors is striking.

Albino Enchi

Albino Enchis are Enchis crossed with albinos. They are bright yellow. Unlike other Enchis, their dark pattern is light. Rather than being dark brown, they’re a peachy pink color.

They don’t have much noticeable blushing, but some of their pattern does have a slight yellow blush. Their dark pattern also has a slight outline, which is a dark pink color. Like all albinos, they have red or pink eyes.

Clown Enchi

Clown Enchis have the same color scheme as other Enchis. Their primary color is a dull yellow bordering on orange. They have a dark brown pattern with lots of blushing.

However, the big difference is in their pattern. Clowns have a pattern that runs along their back rather than down their sides. It’s like a long, wavy, and connected stripe down their backs.

The blush is unmistakable and appears almost all of the way down their back. That’s because the line of their dark pattern is quite thick.

Pastel Enchi

The best examples have a very clean pattern. The pastel gene can clean up the pattern on their sides to make it clearer, but not always. It gets rid of individual darker scales so that they appear more uniform.

It can also get rid of their two-tone pattern along their side, where it starts orange at the top and turns yellow at the bottom. Instead, these snakes can have just one light color on their back.

At the same time, its color can change a little. They range from a matt yellow to deep orange.

Mojave Enchi

Mojaves are easy to recognize because of their distinctive pattern. They can have a line, or an incomplete line of dots, running along their back. These are complemented by ‘flames’ on their sides. These are sections of pattern running up the side, but not forming complete stripes.

They also have a darker overall color, with lots of dark, accentuated chocolate color. The Mojave Enchi takes that pattern and gives it Enchi colors. These snakes are yellow and deep orange. But like the Mojave, they have flames of color running up their sides.

These are especially noticeable because of the Enchi’s blushing. These pools of dark pattern have extensive blushing, of their base color. In the most attractive specimens, this blush is a deep orange color.

Disco Enchi

The disco ball python looks the same as a ‘fire’. The only difference is that when homozygous, they don’t produce black-eyed leucistic offspring.

When combined with Enchi, they produce an Enchi with a thick black pattern. They also have less blushing, although much is still present.

Champagne Enchi

Champagne Enchis are yellow with a brown pattern. Their pattern is dull and faded compared to other Enchis.

They have a larger and thicker dark pattern than regular Enchis. However, its pattern isn’t dark like a regular Enchi. It’s faded like it’s been washed out. Overall, they are roughly 50/50 between darker and lighter pattern.

Lesser Enchi

The Enchi lesser was first bred in 2009 by Matt Lerer. The lesser base is codominant. They’re variable in that they can appear either high yellow with light tan markings, or have lots of blush, like Enchis and Mojaves.

When combined with an Enchi, the lesser adds color and intensifies the blushing. The best examples of lesser Enchis have bright yellow with a dark pattern that’s more blush than black.

But other specimens are faded out like Mojaves. Even their dark coloration is faded. These snakes are highly variable, so make an interesting morph to breed because you don’t yet know the outcome.

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